Monday, October 12, 2020

2020.10.12 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 34

Read Genesis 34

Questions from the Scripture text: Whose daughter does Genesis 34:1 say Dinah is? Whom did she go out to see? Who saw her (Genesis 34:2)? What three ways is he described here? What three things does he do with her? What three further things does Genesis 34:3 mention about him toward her? To whom does he speak in Genesis 34:4? What does he ask? Who hears about Dinah’s defiling in Genesis 34:5? Why does he remain silent? Who comes to whom in Genesis 34:6? To do what? Who come in Genesis 34:7? How do they feel? What does verse 7 say is a disgraceful thing? What does Hamor say about Shechem in Genesis 34:8? What does he ask? For what else does he ask in Genesis 34:9-10? What does Shechem add in Genesis 34:11-12—what is he willing to do for what? Who answer in Genesis 34:13? What is the nature of their answer? What do they say that they cannot do (Genesis 34:14)? And why? What do they suggest is the one thing that needs to be changed for the two to become as one people (Genesis 34:15-16)? What leverage do they threaten if the Hivites do not get circumcised? Where do Hamor and Shechem go in Genesis 34:20? With whom do they speak? What do they tell them (Genesis 34:21-23)? What is the response (Genesis 34:24)? Who do what, when, in Genesis 34:25? What makes them able to do this? Whom do they kill in Genesis 34:26? What do they do? Who else come in Genesis 34:27? And what do they do? What seven things are specifically mentioned in Genesis 34:28-29? Who talks to whom in Genesis 34:30? Whom does he say they have troubled? Whom does he say is few in number? Against whom does he say they will gather? Whom does he say they will kill? Whom does he say they will destroy? What do they ask in Genesis 34:31?

What an ugly picture this chapter paints of Israel (Jacob) himself—the ultimate patriarch of that people who would bear his name. By the end of the chapter, he’s moaning at how dreadful this has all been for him (Genesis 34:30), but nearly everyone else has fared worse, and he’s done precious little to stop it. Dinah has been defiled by fornicating with Shechem. Hamor and Shechem (and the rest of the city) have been murdered. Simeon and Levi have fared even worse, having become murderers. The rest of the fathers of the tribes have become wicked deceivers and vile plunderers. An entire city of children and women have been taken captive as the slaves of these murderers and plunderers. And Jacob has done nothing to prevent any of it—only whined about it afterward as if he has been some kind of victim in all of this.

But what a glorious picture this paints to us of God and His Word.

Surely, this is one of the ways His Word shows itself to be genuine. It is unthinkable that Israel would include such an account of its father and of the fathers of the twelve tribes. But the Bible tells us the truth about these men. And about ourselves. There is no “power of positive thinking” in the Bible. Only amazing-er grace for amazing sinners.

And when we ask, “Can these really be the sort of people out of whom the Lord would build His church,” the answer is, “these are exactly the sort of people out of whom the Lord has built His church!” It is not unlike the ignorant, selfish, contentious bunch that were chosen for apostles, or that last and least of the apostles who got his start as being the most venomous opponent in the land against Christ and His church—the chief of sinners.

The more that we are amazed at our sin, the more that we are more amazed at God’s grace. 

When we first fled to Christ and trusted in Him, we knew ourselves to be hell-deserving and Him to have endured that Hell despite His righteousness. 

But, as we have walked with Him, we have often come up against places in His Word that brought us to a clearer understanding and deeper appreciation of how bad our sin is. For the believer, this is a godly sorrow that has multiple marvelous effects: we are more impressed with Christ’s righteousness, we are more dependent upon Christ’s atonement, we are more grateful for the perfect godliness to which we will finally be brought, and we are more cautious against that sin that remains.

Behold the mercy and patience and power of God—that He would save and bear with and perfect such sinners as His people are!

What is one way that you know your sin now, more than when you first came to believe in Jesus? What does this show you about God, and how does this help you trust and love Him more?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH413 “Revive Thy Work, O Lord”

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